“——Onii-chan. Onii-chan, hey!”
“Onii-chaaan. Oooi. Ya-hooo~ Can you hear meee?”
“…Huh? Ah, yeah. I can hear you.”
St. Liliana Academy’s student council room. Lunch time.
My sister’s calls brought me back to reality.
“Daydreaming like this… what’s wrong? Is something on your mind?”
“Ah— No, nothing important.”
I smiled at my worried sister.
“My mind wandered because I lack sleep, that’s all. You know, there was a lot going on yesterday until late.”
“Is that so? But Onii-chan, you look like you’re depressed, or how should I put it, in low spirits. I’m a little worried.”
“No, no. There’s nothing to worry about.”
“Perhaps the bento wasn’t to your liking?”
“You made it with Ginbei, right? There’s no way it wouldn’t be good.”
“Then are you hurt somewhere?”
“It’s not that either.”
“I-It couldn’t possibly be that, right? You’re thinking about leaving me, your wife, for another woman?!”
“Yep, you’re saying inappropriate stuff again.”
“Aye, even Himenokouji Akito has a bad day sometimes.”
The prez cut in while sipping her after-meal tea.
“He’s got a cunnin’ face, but that guy’s still just 16. It’s a troublin’ age for youngsters, so it ain’t strange if he’s gettin’ bored, right? Not to mention we’re in the middle of spring, ain’t we? Say, am I right?”
“Well, yeah. Must be that, huh?”
I faced her smirk, trying to reply as calmly as possible. On the inside, of course, I was far from calm.
That Nikaidou Arashi has a really nasty character. Just this morning she prepared those landmines for me, and I clumsily stumbled into them. She smirking like that because she enjoys my reactions, right? Yeah, it’s not just her character, her hobbies are nasty too. It’s just too much for me.
In any case, I’ve totally miscalculated. Not only does she know about me and Akiko, but my fiancée too… She’s going to be hard to deal with. For now she said she wouldn’t use it for blackmailing, and since she’s the student council president, I guess her words can be somewhat trusted. But knowing her, she might be scheming something.
I wonder if Arisa’s okay.
She was shocked when she heard that I was leaving the Takanomiya House. We haven’t been in touch since. It’s selfish, but I hope she’s doing okay. Although her attitude is still worrying me, I thought she was the most likeable among the Takanomiyas——
I mean, Reiichirou-san and Kyouko-san were in the wrong. They pushed that engagement to Airsa onto me without a care for my own opinion. And after they got her all excited, I suddenly left. She and I were both victims.
“Onii-chan. You’re still thinking about something bad, aren’t you?”
My sister glared at me scornfully because I was lost in thought again.
“That expression, how you breath, the positioning of your lips… Onii-chan must be thinking about some woman that isn’t me! Please think about me more, Onii-chan! It’s rare for us to eat lunch together.”
“…You’ve got a point, but how could anyone read someone’s thoughts from that kind of small gestures…?”
“Those 16 years of being Onii-chan’s little sister aren’t just for show. When it comes to Onii-chan, I can read all kind of things from just a movement of his eyelashes. I am, so to say, an Onii-chan meister. E~he~.”
“That’s not something you declare so proudly. If I were to put it badly, then you’re actually close to an eccentric stalker, right?”
Then Nasuhara Anastasia butted in.
“I, however, am very interested in the details of that proposal. Who did you sexually fantasize about just now? Confess this instant, Akkii.”
“That’s a misunderstanding, alright? Obviously, it wasn’t anything like that.”
“My, how filthy. You not only surrendered yourself to your dirty delusions, but you’ve already finished swiftly under your desk, haven’t you?”
“I haven’t finished anything! What are you saying, you…”
“Your boldness, the way you’re getting aroused by your insatiable sexual desires – I’m inclined to say it’s almost refreshing. Fufu, it seems I’ve underestimated Himenokouji Akito as a man.”
“But… Like I’ve said, it’s a misunderstanding…”
As usual, Nasuhara-san was showering me with false accusations on a pro level. She always became lively whenever the conversation involved something dirty.
“I’m interested too.”
Next up was Ginbei, who followed up with:
“Putting aside that Akiko’s about to become a stalker, I think she’s reliable to an extent. I agree those 16 years weren’t for nothing, and she does have a lethal case of bro-con syndrome. We’d normally laugh her off since you can’t draw any reliable conclusions from someone’s expression, breathing, or lips. However, this time she could be quite reliable. It’s alright, Akito’s sister, I’m your ally. I’ll support you with everything I’ve got.”
“Oh… Thank you very much, Ginbei-san… Or at least I think I should thank you for saying ‘I support you’ with a smile… But somehow I don’t really feel I should be thankful here. Why on Earth is that so, I wonder…”
It’s because of that, Akiko.
She’s acting like she’s praising you, but you’re actually being mocked, right? Right?!
“So, what’s the meanin’ of this, Akito? Which girl were you thinkin’ about? Be obedient and confess. Now.”
“No, no. How did it end up like this?”
“Why would you even ask ‘How’? I’m a close friend — naturally I’d want to know about your relationship with your other friends.”
“No, well, maybe, but…”
“What else is there? Are you tryin’ to hide something from me?”
“No, of course not..”
“If so, out with it. Who’re you thinkin’ about? Someone in this room? Or someone outside?”
“Ah— No, you see…”
What’s going on?
Somehow I ended up being interrogated… How did I get forced into this? I expected as much from Akiko, but pokerface Nasuhara-san and the still extremely calm Ginbei-san have joined too. I don’t think I can go against them with this kind of atmosphere.
It’d be bad if I confessed I was thinking about my fiancée, so I need to derail this conversation now.
“Goes without sayin’ that he was fantasizin’ ‘bout me, ya see…”
As if the other three weren’t already enough, now the president joined the fray too.
“Yeah, Himenokouji Akito was thinkin’ ’bout me. While we were eatin’ lunch together to deepen our student council ties, he couldn’t stop thinkin’ ‘bout bein’ all lovey-dovey with me.”
“That is so not true.”
Akiko instantly denied.
“President values lewd things more than the air she breathes. Her computer immediately suggests ‘hentai’ when you type the letter ‘H’. There’s no way Onii-chan would think about her. Onii-chan possesses a truly refined eye for women… although, for some reason, he has yet to make a move on his cute little sister.”
“This is rare; we share the same opinion.”
Nasuhara-san said with a nod and continued:
“It is exceedingly arrogant to harbor such delusions about a man indifferent to women’s approaches. It is self-conscious at best. You do have absurdly good looks and a powerful personality, but I expected that you could objectively evaluate yourself. Unfortunately, it seems you have fewer merits than I thought.”
“I support you all on this too!”
Now even Ginbei joined the war.
“But my theory is different: I think the president tried to deceive us all. She just told an absurd story to calm us down during lunch. It’s a delusion — even as a daydream it’s stupid — something others would immediately dismiss. Also, from how she said it with such confidence, it’s likely that she played the clown on purpose——— Right?”
“Oi, oi, ya guys’re overdoing it. I hold an elite position as St. Lialiana Academy’s student council president, aight? Bein’ a tad more respectful wouldn’t hurt, hmm?”
“I’m not listening.”
“I cannot hear you.”
“Kakaka. Nothin’ but harsh subordinates here, eh? Well, thank ya very much.”
While laughing out loud, the prez shifted her gaze in my direction.
“Is yer opinion as harsh as theirs, Himenokouji Akito?”
I fumbled with my words, eyed by everyone in the room.
My next reply would be important, but I barely understood the situation. I needed a harmless yet effective answer to shrug off the question — something very hard to counter.
“Eh? What up? Ya hesitatin’?”
Prez urged me on with a smirk and a calm expression.
Going by that expression, it didn’t seem like she demanded a particular reply. Even if she didn’t like my response, she probably wouldn’t take offense and shrug it off as usual.
Right, that should be the case, but…
“Yes. I was thinking about prez.”
I answered with a forced smile. Even though this made me a coward, I couldn’t help it.
No one can blame me, right? She’s got me by my weak points, after all. Her intentions aren’t clear, so it should be safer not to upset her, shouldn’t it?
“Yeah, I thought about prez after all. It’s only natural, you know? She’s hard to approach, but just so beautiful. What’s more, she seized power in the student council, and now she stands on top of St. Liliana Academy. It’s a position that holds powerful authority, isn’t it? Before I knew it, I started thinking about prez all the time. I can’t help it.”
It’s better to stick with this, right?
Yeah, I’ll stick with it until the end, I’ll praise Nikaidou Arashi to the high heavens until it almost looks like I’m joking. Hopefully this’ll keep the damage low.
“As expected from the president. How do you know that I was thinking about you? Even though it didn’t show on my face?”
“Well, that’s simple. It’s ‘cause I’ve been watchin’ ya this whole time, ya know?”
Prez nodded with a satisfied ‘uh-huh’.
“Ya can’t help thinkin’ ’bout the broad-minded, older, ‘n famous for bein’ a casanova me. It’s only natural that young and energetic boys would do that, ‘n I can clearly see their thoughts. Unlike someone I know who’s thinkin’ ’bout her older brother all day long, mah eyes ain’t gone bad yet.”
“Wha—?! That’s unforgivable—!”
Akiko reacted immediately.
“I’m Onii-chan’s one and only little sister, the only family he has. That’s why he must only think about me and no one else. Likewise, I only think about Onii-chan. Also, when it comes to Onii-chan, I’m the best expert there is… Therefore, the ideas that the president knows more about Onii-chan and that Onii-chan thinks more about her than me are things that are absolutely impossible.”
“Himenokouji Akiko, ya can keep blurtin’ all that, but the facts ain’t changin’. Yer brother said it live ‘n in color a moment ago. Ya heard it clearly, didn’t’cha?”
“But ya see, Himenokouji Akito ain’t withdrawin’ his words. Can’t ya tell by his face? Ya smile so adorably all the time, yet ya could never charm him. All ya have is a spirit of an unyielding salesman.”
“While certain people were at a loss I did what had to be done. The nickname ‘predator’ ain’t just for show, ya know? Ye guys should follow mah example more.”
“Follow your example? That has to be a joke…”
“Ya may want it to be a joke, but face reality, aight? If ya refuse to face reality ‘cause ya don’t like it, yer ain’t fit for this student council.”
Akiko puffed up her cheeks and stared at prez, but she had a definite disadvantage. The prez faced her with an expression as composed as a young Buddhist priest. She looked down on her subordinate, who was lost for words, and gloated with her smirk.
“——Quick timeout! A timeout’s fine, right?!”
My sister swiftly raised her hand.
“Nasuhara-san, Ginbei-san! Come here for a moment!”
She called the remaining members and gathered them in a corner.
“Did you hear that, everyone? What’s with the president’s attitude?”
“Correct. Although the president typically looks down on us with vulgar confidence, today it’s worse than usual.”
“Yes, but anyways, I think she’s got good reason to be confident. I don’t get the feelin’ she’s just bluffin’ to keep us in check.”
“Then, are you saying something happened between Onii-chan and the president? Until yesterday, there was nothing unusual.”
“Certainly, that is not impossible. In any case, one can’t be too careful around that person.”
“I have to agree with Nasuhara-kun. Be that as it may, what are we goin’ to do? She’s someone who’s quick to act. The nickname ‘predator’ isn’t for nothing.”
For some reason they started a secret talk.
…Wait, I’ve seen this before. Is this something like a student council tradition?
“At any rate, it’s certain something has happened between Onii-chan and the president.”
“That’s correct. And this something is affecting our situation undesirably, is that right?”
“The problem is what actions we ought to be takin’ now, but…”
“I’m requesting your cooperation. Let the three of us join forces! No matter what, we cannot stay quiet and watch the president get ahead of us!”
“I humbly decline. You’re the most dangerous one among us. Don’t you have any self-awareness? It’s like chasing a cat and bringing in the tiger. Sorry to break that to you.”
“I agree with Nasuhara-kun. By my sense of values, lettin’ him flirt with president seems somewhat better than havin’ Akito flirt with Akiko-kun. Akito would be separated from Akiko, and, if successful, Akiko would drop out of the competition.”
“Please wait a moment! Rather than worrying about tomorrow or the day after, we shall join forces and tackle the threat in front of our eyes today——Rather, is this about stopping Onii-chan and me from sleeping in the same room?! I must object; I absolutely object!”
“Be that as it may, it’s clear that we can’t ignore the threat president poses.”
“I agree. I’m joinin’ hands with Nasuhara-kun again. We’d better restrain the president’s reckless behavior.”
“I wonder, does Gin-Gin have a good idea?”
“This is hard, huh? Anyways, first of all, we don’t know what advantage the president has. If we don’t know the cause, we can’t come up with counter-measures. Judgin’ from the current state, we can do nothing but improvisin’ as we——”
“Hold up, you two! Why are you ignoring me?! Please don’t talk by yourselves?!”
I can’t understand them too well, but there certainly is disagreement about something. They’re saying stuff like, ‘Let’s work together’, or so, but it looks like negotiations failed. They might end up parting.
“Kakaka. It’s nice to see ya youngsters in such high spirits.”
Watching her subordinates acting in disarray, prez had the same composed expression as always.
While sipping her after-meal tea in an extremely good mood, she said:
“But, ya know, ya younguns have to be that way. Yer only havin’ unimportant tasks now, but types like ya guys are more promisin’ than those small-fry, petty officials, ya know?”
“Uh… Is that so?”
She’s criticizing us in an extremely high-and-mighty manner, but… she should be roughly as old as we are, right?
“The St. Liliana Academy student council gathers the excessively strong-willed by tradition, ya know?”
“Well, that’s probably right. The people entering this academy have a unique personalities to begin with.”
“Damn right. Every last one of ’em is hard to deal with, and on top of that, they’re people with potential. Thanks to that, the person in charge is always havin’ a hard time.”
“…Is the student council a good example of this?”
“Ain’t that obvious?”
Prez winked with her uncovered eye.
“Opposition ‘n conflicts are natural, and quarrels are an everyday occurrence. And yet, the longer they quarrel, the closer they get. They were highly skilled people from the start, so if they unite, they should be able to give a good performance. Ain’t that true?”
“Well, yeah, certainly.”
Not to mention I had witnessed Ginbei’s abilities with my own eyes, and I heard that Akiko and Nasuhara-san were famous in this academy too. If they worked together, they’d surpass all of the previous student councils.
“There’s nothing important to do now, but we’ll have to show our abilities sooner or later, right? At the athletic or culture festival.”
“Damn right. Ain’t that true?”
“But if they disagreed with each other at such a crucial time, won’t it turn into a total disaster?”
“Mah… I’d want to avoid that kinda thing…”
She said and looked at the disagreeing comrades again.
“They say adversity strengthens foundation. As long as we can handle it, we should be thankful for all the adversity comin’ our way.”
“Right… Well, it’s true, actually.”
“The new school term just began, but the whole academy’s somewhat restless. As student council members, how’re we gonna be role models for other students if we ain’t got our act together? I don’t mind quarrellin’ at the same time; it’s better than bottling it up, ya know? But even if we’re gonna to argue, we need to follow basic standards for our behavior. Even in those next-to-impossible rapid construction projects, first priority is to lay down a basic framework. Amirite?”
The way she said that got me thinking.
She could be described as arrogant, but maybe she simply anticipated just about everything.
Could it really be that she just did calculate everything?
Purposely riling up the student council while knowing she could control them – something like that?
“By the way, Himenokouji Akito. Would ya massage mah shoulders? This exhausting work got the better of me ‘n my shoulders have gotten stiff.”
“‘Exhausting work’, you say… It didn’t seem like you were trying that hard.”
“Superiors always have burdens their subordinates don’t know about, right?”
“Well, that… might be true.”
“Plus, whether it be great efforts or hardships, doin’ it discretely is just mah way of bein’ refined. Although ya guys might not’ve seen it, I’ve been doin’ all kinds of things.”
That’s probably true.
The dorm my sister and I only rented was set for demolition, but before we knew it, prez restored it to a fully-fledged student dorm.
She also got the board of directors to approve the budget, completed the dorm administration policy, and promoted all sorts of reform procedures.
We didn’t know she did all of those things by herself—— On top of that, she also had schoolwork, sword training, student council work, and so on.
If I think about it deeply, it’s clear. Even if her words and actions are ridiculous, she’s still the student council president——
“Also, mah breasts are twice as big as others’, which stiffens mah shoulders even quicker, ya know?”
“That means I’d want ya to rub mah breasts instead of mah shoulders.”
“You think I’d do that?”
“Ya remember yer position I assigned ya in this student council?”
“I’m the ‘secretary’s deputy assistant’, right? And you made it up.”
“The duties were secret until now, but the secretary deputy assistant’s main job’s to take care of mah sexual urges. Ya should take care of ya responsibilities now; it’d trouble me if you didn’t carry them out properly.”
“So you didn’t just made up the position, but the job description now too?”
“Why? As cold as ever, eh…? Well, it’s fine, if you massaged them they’d only get bigger anyway. Mah shoulders would grow even stiffer, kakaka.”
She said and burst into a big laughter that didn’t fit her character.
How should I put it? As expected, she was unreadable.
I thought Prez would touch on my fiance or the blood-relation between me and my sister, but she was just her usual self. She even had a watchful eye on places that had to be watched.
If she was just a sex maniac or merely a capable person, she’d be easier to handle. However, she’s both, and not only that, she can switch between the two at will, making her hard to read. She scatters wild balls like a baseball pitcher, and one with high accuracy at that.
While thinking it was amazing that the other girls were still arguing in their secret talk, I revised my first impression of prez:
Nikaidou Arashi—— She’s probably an ally, but I need to watch out.
Translator notes and references
‘Meister’: German for “master”.
‘Mu’: Angry/Annoyed sfx. “Mu” sounds cuter than “Grr”, and Akiko’s supposed to be cute.